2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA DII National Freshman of the Year Finalists, 2022 NFCA DII  National Freshman of the Year Finalists, Schutt Sports/NFCA DII National Freshman of the Year Finalists

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eight finalists, one from each of the NCAA’s eight regions, have been selected by the Association’s Division II All-America Committee for the 2022 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year award. 

California University of Pennsylvania’s Caleigh Rister (Atlantic), Harding’s Leigha Harris (Central), Caldwell’s Jessica Klein (East), Southern Indiana’s Josie Newman (Midwest), Nova Southeastern’s Ashley Connor (South), Cameron’s Kaiden Boren (South Central), Emory & Henry’s Lydia Taylor (Southeast) and Cal State San Marcos’ Paige Donnelly (West) are now in the running for the award, which will be announced on Thursday, May 26. 

Created in 2015, the award honors the outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout NCAA Division II. To be eligible, student-athletes must come from a NFCA member institution. 

Five of the eight finalists were voted NFCA First- or Second-Team All-Region and five honorees – Rister (PSAC West Division), Harris (GAC), Klein (CACC), Connor (Sunshine State) and Boren (Lone Star) - captured their league’s Freshman-of-the-Year accolade. A sixth, CSUSM’s Donnelly, was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Newcomer of the Year. 

Five of the finalists are representing their institutions for the first time, while it is the second nod for Cameron (Khmari Edwards - 2019), Harding (Autumn Humes - 2017) and Southern Indiana (Jennifer Leonhardt - 2017).

Past winners include Janessa Bassett (Dixie State – 2015), Autumn Humes (Harding – 2017), Bailey McKittrick (Central Oklahoma – 2019), Callie Nunes (Concordia Irvine – 2018), Charlotte Romero (Colorado Christian – 2016) and Kenzee Smith (UIndy – 2021).

 

Kaiden Boren
Kaiden Boren
Catcher
Cameron
Ashley Connor
Ashley Connor
Pitcher
Nova Southeastern
Paige Donnelly
Paige Donnelly
First Base
Cal State San Marcos
Leigha Harris
Leigha Harris
First Base
Harding
Jessica Klein
Jessica Klein
Outfield
Caldwell
Josie Newman
Josie Newman
Pitcher
Southern Indiana
Caleigh Rister
Caleigh Rister
Utility/Pitcher
Cal U
Lydia Taylor
Lydia Taylor
Shortstop
Emory & Henry

 

The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year Awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and National Convention

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining nearly 6,000 coaches today!

 

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